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Posted: 8/15/2007 9:40:13 AM EDT
So I see DEAN in the Atlantic and it's likely to become a hurricane in a couple of days. It's still a few days out from the Gulf of Mexico.

How long do you wait before you top off your tanks, and food for your pantry, etc.? Do you wait until it's 3 days out or do you get ready five or six days out to avoid the rush? Or you do keep a perpetual state of heightened readiness throughout the season?

What exactly do you do? Obviously put lawn furniture away, but what else?

I doubt many of our SF people wait until 24 hours before, except maybe to actually do the boarding up (oh, how that must be a PITA)...

I'm just curious.

Link Posted: 8/15/2007 9:48:47 AM EDT
Perpetual state of readiness. Hurricanes are just one of possible emergencies that need supplies.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 11:12:37 AM EDT
There is usually a big difference between "civilians" and survivalists - the former are still and lifeless, while the latter breathe on

While that is an attempt at humor, no matter which state you are in, the population fluctuation brings new, inexperienced people into the state. Add the womb-to-tomb entitled population segment and it does impact those that are prepared. That has an effect on the post-disaster situation and is a theme and a point that one must also be prepared for.

Now to your question. I will just speak of your regular, average Joe (for the ladies, aka Jane) Survivor. The good survivor prepares for what may befall themselves and their family at work, while shopping or traveling and, of course, at home. Part of the regimen is assuring yourself of adequate, physical protection, e.g., hardening your home against the physical (and human, for that matter of fact) elements that may, most likely, befall one. Then you have to ensure that you have a viable post-event survival chance, i.e., you need water, backup shelter, food, a means to cook the food, light, communications, including a radio to gather information, a power source and, if possible, a few minor amenities to make the hard times a bit easier on the soul.

Preparation also includes information. Now we get closer to answering your question. Speaking for myself, after Aug. 1st, I scan the National Hurricane Center site. They have a new hot button on what is normally the 2nd line - but now it is the third line because of advisory flags for Dean and Erin. Click on the underlined portion of
"Experimental Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook now available" and you will be taken to a map that shows what activities are currently being watched. As they move from tropical wave or tropical depression, they hot-link to the advisories, forecasts, tracking maps, etc. It is a handy site.

My experience is that they are pretty good at predicting tracks 3 days out. When they are 5 days out, they can be off a bit. Every so often, however, even the best laid forecasts of mice and men go astray. The best example I can think of was Hurricane Jeanne . Drop down the lower area and see "Figure 1: Best track positions for Hurricane Jeanne, 13-28 September 2004."

I had missed the previous visitor to the east coast of FL, Hurricane Frances, as I was still overseas. I got back about 8 days after it hit, lucky enough to find that the power was on and I had A/C and a fridge. Early in the morning of the 21st or 22nd, I can't remember exactly - I saw that they were predicting an unexpected 180° turn. At that time, I quickly began finalizing my preparations in the early morning. By the 24th, supplies were rare - it was hard to find water, bread was getting scarce and other items such as propane, empty gas canisters, etc., which had just been resupplied to local stores (SE FL, you couldn't get anything up around Sebastian/Melbourne) were sold out. Lines at gas stations were like in 1972/3 during the OPEC oil boycott. People would line up and wait just to top off the tank.

Getting the jump by being well informed in a timely manner, will allow you to make final preparations in advance. This is also very important if you are facing a situation where you have to evacuate, or bug-out. You don't want to be stuck in traffic when that happens, with the rest of the lemmings. You want to be waaay ahead of them, while the gas stations still sell have gas to sell and the predators are asleep in their lairs.


To give you an idea.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 3:20:09 PM EDT
Continuous state of preparedness. While hurricanes come during a predicatable time period, other things give little or no warning (like civil unrest, refinery explosions, etc.). I do start taking inventory on preps and checking out gear around January/February every year. We occassionally run low on things and of course gear can break down (have you tested your generator while it's powering equipment lately?).

It doesn't take much to keep food, water, and necessary equipment on hand. Just a little planning.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 3:51:38 PM EDT

First off, my prayers are with you all down on the southern coast. Let's all hope this storm season blows over like another Y2K.

Originally Posted By fosdick:

My experience is that they are pretty good at predicting tracks 3 days out. When they are 5 days out, they can be off a bit. Every so often, however, even the best laid forecasts of mice and men go astray.

A few years ago I ran into an old university buddy who gave me some insight into such things. After college he entered the Air Force and was fortunate enough to become an F-111 Wizzo (bombardier for the non-Aardvark inclined). Unfortunately he was among the many 111 crewmen who found themselves out of a job when that swing-wing wonder was retired. He then got into weather forecasting using all the highest-end equipment available to Uncle Sam's finest. It was his educated opinion that even with all the gear he had at his disposal, accurate forecasts more than 72 hours out were as much black art as science. And often not very accurate voodoo at that.

Link Posted: 8/15/2007 4:25:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Szurgot:
Perpetual state of readiness. Hurricanes are just one of possible emergencies that need supplies.

+1, stayed and survived Katrina.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 6:51:33 PM EDT
Francis and Jeanne were a direct hit, I was ready a few days before time as I'm ready now for Dean even though it's not looking like a SEFL hit. I need to shutter the windows and top off gas tanks, that's it.

Wilma caught me off guard and that wont happen again. Everyone said it would not be a big deal on the East coast so like an idiot I listened, never gain.
Link Posted: 8/15/2007 11:11:08 PM EDT
My family is not survival oriented at all but everyone with a brain around here preps a bit. Mostly stocking up on ice and food at beginning of season, and we usually get gas for the generator a couple days ahead if it looks like its coming at us.

No use in getting all ready if the storms a week away, 9 times out of ten it seems to veer away from us. Ivan snuck up on us pretty good! It didn't look to us like it was coming our way at all, we were gonna sit it out. A few days later my grandfather who used to work for NASA as a meteorologist called and said "Leave. That storm is coming straight for you." He was right, the eye of the storm passed right over our town, but we left the day before.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 12:03:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/16/2007 12:06:21 AM EDT by OKIE-CARBINE]
thats one thing that coastal folks have going for them: they have a pretty good chance to get stuff ready and get the hell outta dodge if need be. here in tornado alley we only get a few hours notice that a storm is brewing.

these look to be pretty powerful systems. the first one is supposed to make it all the way into oklahoma this weekend. and from what i saw, the second one is about a week and a half out from making it to the central states.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 5:16:31 AM EDT
Anyone who has lived along the coast from North Carolina down around Florida and across the gulf coast to Texas for the last 5-years (at least), should be prepared ahead of a hurricane. When the SHTF, you're either prepared or SOL.

Even the normally unprepared sheeple type can have flashlights, batteries, radios, and water & food for three or more days. And how many hurricanes have to hit us before people realize that they have to have some kind of permanent shutters stored away to cover their windows and doors?

It doesn't take a great deal of planning to even be minimally prepared. Yet, every time a hurricane approaches, the general populace goes nuts at the last minute. Home Depot looks like a soup line during the Great Depression in the last 48 hours before a hurricane landfall.

I just don't get it, but I've always been a Boy Scout, so "Be Prepared" is just a way of life for me. Maybe the sheeple need a motto too...how about, "Be Stupid".
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 5:18:57 AM EDT
I stay prepped. I do need to run my generators today, though.
And radio check my HAM to work.
Thanks for bringing it up.
Link Posted: 8/16/2007 8:05:02 AM EDT
I'm from IL and probably in the top 1% of folks in terms of being ready for bad things.

However, I'd have a whole lot more if I lived within a hundred miles of the coastline. Given the high cost of insurance in those areas, I may never actually move there, despite the mild winters.

I think it would probably be fun to sit through a hurricane... so long as it wasn't my house getting hammered.

And yes, Dean looks like it's gonna be a biggie.

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